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Lisa Ricard Claro
ABC’s Castle: Romance & Shenanigans!
Books & Entertainment
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Warning: Look out below! Fan girl spasm of love for all things Castle is commencing!

The Castle season seven premier is Monday, September 29th, and I’m beyond excited. There are so many things to love about this show! If you’re a fan of this delightful series please join me in my blubbering happiness and anticipation for the new season. If you’re not a fan, would you like to be? Read on, Buttercup! Let’s see if I can convince you.

First off, the hubby and I were latecomers to Castle. We ignored it until it went into syndication and began showing up in the early evening in back-to-back episodes. We watched it the first time out of desperation for new viewing because our favorite shows were in between seasons and we had Law & Order SVU-edourselves out. One episode into Castle, we were hooked. We hunted it down on the internet and began our own Castle marathon from season one, episode one, until we were current. That was about two years ago, and I never tire of watching this show.

Here’s the gist: Mystery writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) traipses around behind New York City detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) ostensibly doing research for his novels. Naturally, they solve crimes together and romance and shenanigans ensue. And in a humorous play on the mushing together of names (i.e. Brangelina) they call themselves Caskett, a moniker fans embrace with giddy delight.

That, of course, is the stripped down blurb. The show has more to offer than that little paragraph implies. The writing is great, the secondary characters engaging, and the two leads have tons of onscreen chemistry that is so awesome it allows for the suspension of disbelief surrounding the absurdity of the premise. At its core it’s a romantic dramedy, comic but earnest, with enough realism thrown in that relating to the characters is fun and easy.

As a romance writer, I’m an obvious target for a show like this. But even my husband, who would rather sit through two hours of the International Paint Drying Competition than suffer thirty minutes of a rom-com, enjoys the crime-solving escapades of Caskett and company as they exchange witticisms and arrest murderers. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, is drop-dead gorgeous and looks hot stalking after the bad guys. If everything else fell apart, my hubby would watch the show for that reason alone. And Nathan Fillion, who plays mystery novelist Rick Castle, is adorable. Some of his expressions are priceless. The man doesn’t even have to talk, although I’m glad he does because he’s talented enough to slip from funny to serious and back to funny again without missing a beat.

One of the great things about the show is that they didn’t consummate the romance until several seasons in which allowed for a lot of sexual tension—a staple for romance—and then after they did the deed and declared their undying love, the writing and chemistry between the lead characters remained strong enough not to screw things up, sort of like a marriage between Gorilla Glue and duct tape. How many other TV shows can say that? (Remember Moonlighting in the ‘80s after Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) got together? Gak! No Gorilla Glue or duct tape . . . more like crepe paper in the rain—in a word, ruined).

Castle just keeps getting better and better.  The only thing that worries me going into season seven is that the actors might be getting itchy to move on to other projects. This rumor hasn’t reared its head and I hope it doesn’t, because I’d love to see this series run long enough to get the characters through a couple years of marriage and at least one adorable-but-precocious offspring before it disappears into the sunset. Then maybe they can bring it back a few years after that using the same lead characters. The premise could be a married couple, passionately in love, who drive expensive cars and solve crimes.

Oh, wait. That’s already been done. It was called Hart to Hart and it starred Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, waaaay back from 1979-1984. Well, if they ever want to reprise that show and update it for this century, I know just the two actors with the chops and onscreen chemistry to pull it off.  In the meantime, we’ve still got Castle and I can’t wait for Monday to get here. You don’t have to ask what I’ll be doing on the 29th at 10 p.m. EST: My hubby, a glass of wine, and Caskett.

It’s time to love Mondays again!

Are you a Castle fan? If so, what do you love the most about it? If not, what’s your never-miss-it TV show and why do you think it rocks?



Flower Bear
Our Mess Is Our Message
Other Topics
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In the continuing saga that is my huge de-cluttering project in my home of 14 years, I made an astonishing discovery in the big storage closet underneath the pile of Christmas decorations, a table top Christmas tree and plastic Santas. I found three more boxes of files and papers. Having spent an entire week in the den cleaning out file cabinets and desks, this discovery was less than an welcome sight. Since this adventure in cleaning out my life as well as my home has turned into more of a Quest For The Holy Grail-type adventure rather than a chore that was put off too long, I decided to sit down that minute and deal with those boxes. I wanted to be rid of this paper monster once and for all.

In the span of an hour I was surrounded by paper. I separated it all into three piles: keep, shred, recycle. What I found was a statement about my life up until this point. I found the mortgage papers on a house that burned down 20 years ago; the child immunization records for my 42 year old daughter; phone bills from when I lived in another state; the paper I wrote in my senior year of collage that won me the Philosophy of Religion Award at graduation (I was quite the intellectual back then); my clippings from my days as a reporter and feature writer for a local newspaper; bank statements and cancelled checks from a bank that no longer exits, etc. The list goes on and on. Is it any wonder that for the last 15 years I have been having trouble moving forward in my life? My past was literally weighing me down! As I looked at the piles around me on the floor it became clear to me that my mess was my message. This was the message that I was sending out into the world: I’m stuck, I can’t move my life forward, I am living in the past, I am letting my memories become my future. So I pulled out only those things that I loved or that brought value to my life: a painting done by my very  first grandchild when she was in grade school of me with the title, “Portrait of My Grammy,” my clippings and the award winning paper that I wrote (after all, words are my life’s passion), and a few other small items. The rest went into one of the other two piles.

When I think about my mess being my message, I think about the kind of messes that send out a message of happiness, love, family and contentment. I think of the pile of dirty dishes after a holiday meal with loved ones, of a table covered with newspaper, paints and paper filled with the creations of my grandchildren, or the empty flower pots, spilled potting soil and dirty gardening gloves on my porch that created a living, breathing sanctuary of green. Those are the kinds of messes we should all be lucky enough to live in. I want the new life that I am creating to only have messes that make me glad to be alive. That, my friends, is the Holy Grail of life.

And so it is.



Vonnie Kennedy
Do Boomer Women Want to Read About Other Boomer Women Having Sex?
Love & Sex
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I have to admit that with my recent move, I haven’t been thinking about sex lately. Not because I’m over it, it’s just been on the back burner. So when I found this post on HuffPost 50 – Where Are the 50-Year-Old Heroines In Erotic Fiction? by Erica Jagger and got me thinking about sex again, not just as a woman, but also as a reader and writer.

Jagger writes, “I love erotic fiction, but I’m fed up reading about 22-year-old virgins who start f**king like porn stars immediately upon deflowerment. I’d really love to read a sizzling slice of smut featuring a protagonist I can actually relate to.”

I agree whole-heartedly, Erica, but where do we find it? Or the real question may be – is do we really want erotic sexually explicit stories about women are age or are would be as grossed out as the younger versions of ourselves?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the same subject on Vibrant Nation. I received some positive feedback from other women who longed for erotic fiction about women over 50, but didn’t get any suggestions as to where to find these stories.

I also posted a video on my own blog back in 2012 featuring Joan Price who seems to be the lead spokesman for Ageless Erotica and wrote a book with the same name…and seems to be only promoting her book, which is fine but are there any other authors out there writing erotic stories featuring a boomer aged woman?

I have to confess that I haven’t read Joan’s book, yet but it’s on my Kindle list along with lots of other books I want to read.

Before writing this post, I googled ‘mature women erotica’ for research purposes. Warning: DO NOT Google ‘MATURE WOMEN EROTICA’ unless you’re into slimy porn sites involving older women. Nuff said.

So, I regoogled (is that a word?) the phase ‘erotic stories for boomer women’ and came up with another article by Joan PriceSexy Books: Erotica for Boomers at Price listed a few authors that I briefly scanned through, but I didn’t find any boomer age women (or men) as the lead characters. Hmmm.

Next on the Google list:  Why Boomer Women Are Hot for Erotica E-books at Next Avenue. Again, I found no recommended stories or novels about hot and sexy boomer women, so I have to wonder – do boomer women want to read about other boomer women having sex? It certainly isn’t a phenomenon that’s taken off since I wrote about it two years ago.

So what do mature women want to read?

  • Steamy romances about older women?
  • Explicit erotic sex stories involved older women?
  • Stories with no sex about baby boomer women?
  • Erotic stories about 22-year-old virginal women?
  • None of the above

Give me a hint, I’m interested.

In the meantime, my all time favorite steamy/erotic memoir is Free Fall: A Late-in-Life Love Affair by Rae Padilla Francoeur.

So, Rae, if you’re still out there – write another book, will ya?

Now this is a strong woman!
Family & Relationships
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I so admire the writer of this piece:

Your body is too wrinkly,” he said without a pause. “I have spoiled myself over the years with young women. I just can’t get excited with you. I love your energy and your laughter. I like your head and your heart. But, I just can’t deal with your body.”

I was stunned… We talked for some time more, my head reeling at the content of the conversation. He spoke of special stockings and clothing that would “hide” my years. He blithely told me he loved “little black dresses” and strappy shoes. He said my hair was not long and flowing as he preferred, but that was okay because it was “cool looking.” I felt like a Barbie Doll on acid as I listened to this man. He was totally oblivious to the viciousness of his words. He had turned me into an object to be dressed and positioned to provide satisfaction for his ideas of what female sexual perfection should be.

He explained that now that I knew what was required, we could have a great time in the bedroom. I told him no. I would not hide from my own body. I would not wear outfits to make my body more “tolerable.” I would not undress in the dark or shower with the bathroom door closed. I would not diminish myself for him — or for anyone. My body is beautiful and it goes along with my mind and my heart.

Read the full piece here:

A Love Story
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In May, I participated in Panache DeSai’s 33 day program online with his new book – “Discovering Your Soul Signature.”  One thing about doing spiritual work, anything that needs to be released comes up.  In my case, deep childhood emotional wounds of rejection and abandonment came to the surface once again.
Those feelings started with being adopted at 2 1/2. My new Mother told me over and over again as I was growing up that I wasn’t wanted, that my birth mother had rejected me from the day I was born, and was always trying to find a way to get rid of me.  Then on a recent Saturday afternoon I got a big envelope in the mail from my brother. He had found something in my late Father’s things he thought I might want. He sent me the file from my adoption.
In the file were various legal briefs and as I turned the pages I discovered three letters from my birth mother to my new father. She wrote about her hesitation to sign the adoption papers, (It took her 9 months) how hard it was to let go, and her love of me in each one of them.  She wrote that even though her heart was breaking, she believed the adoption would be for the best.

My first thought was “I’ve been living a lie all these years!”   I HAD been wanted and loved.  I wasn’t rejected or abandoned!
Something shifted at the very core of my being. I haven’t totally groked what’s happened, nor can I explain it, but I know it’s good.  I feel lighter in many ways.
I also realized once again, that life really is a series of stories. We begin writing them as little children based on what others say and how we feel about it. We really are the writer, the actor, the director and the producers of our reality.  As we write, the Universe constantly rearranges Itself to fit our picture of reality.  We get to live our original stories over and over again. In fact we add to those stories daily.
I started to think about the stories I am telling myself now.  Are they positive and uplifting?  Are they stories of love and wonder and delight in life?  They’d better be! These stories are creating my future.
How about you?  Your stories are creating your future as well.  If you want to know what your stories are, look around and listen to your self talk.  That ongoing dialogue and its accompanying feelings are a vibration that sets the Law of Attraction in action. As the writer, the director, the actor, and the producer, you have a built in rewrite option that can be used at any time.
Each of our stories is adding to the collective consciousness of humanity.  Our rewrite option is so important now.  Thank God we’re such creative beings!   Join me in writing the greatest Love Story ever.
God is Love.  God being omnipresent means Love is absolutely everywhere, therefore. Love is what I am made of and who I am. As I know this for myself, I know it for everyone.  There is nothing but Love.
I am open to feeling all of my feelings and letting them move through me with ease and grace. I am open to the mysteries and wonder of our world. I have turned the page and started a new chapter. I honor my old stories and joyfully write new ones that reflect the beauty and Love of all Life.
With a light heart, a clear head and a pure heart, I gratefully release these words to Divine Law, knowing they have been lovingly embodied and have uplifted my whole being!    And so it is.

Flower Bear
The Right To Grow
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On my bookshelf sits a copy of a book that has been a constant source of joy and teaching for me since 1996. The book is called, Growing Myself: a spiritual journey through gardening by Judith Handelsman. I have lost count of the times that I have pulled it out to again share Judith’s journey as she learned about love, cooperation, sensitivity to life and how to find the miraculous in the mundane. In effect, she grew herself. There was one other thing that I got out of it that has been a huge lesson for me, and that is this: everything and everyone has the right to grow.

I remember one day trying to explain to a young lady in her 20’s how it was for women of my generation back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Women were not encouraged to grow. We were not encouraged to stretch ourselves or seek out the answers to our soul questions: Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? When I told my parents that I wanted to go to college to become a writer, they assured me that there were only two reasons for a girl to go to college: to find a husband or to learn a skill to fall back on should something happen to said husband (or for old maids that were never expected to marry and became nurses and teachers – sorry, ladies, that is honestly what I was told). I was expected to complete my secretarial skills in high school, get a good job and save up for my wedding (I wasn’t even seeing anyone at the time). Fast forward several years and I was a divorced mother (said husband having taken off with someone who had no children) who was using her secretarial skills to support her children – can you hear my mother’s I-told-you-so? I was trying to buy a car and they would not give me a car loan based on the fact that I did not have a husband as fall-back in case I lost my job or got pregnant again. I didn’t remember them saying those things to my husband when he came in for a car loan. I had to get my Dad to co-sign the loan and went away humiliated and determined that no one ever again was ever going to tell me that I did not have the right to be who I wanted to be. You can imagine the look on the face of that young lady when I finished my story. Clearly she had grown up in a culture that told her she had every right to grow as an individual and as a woman in whatever direction she chose and no clue what it meant to have your growth overshadowed by the world around you

I’ve been thinking about all of that a lot lately as I approach my 65th birthday this summer. How lucky we are now, this generation that fought so hard to be equal human beings in the eyes of the world, that as we enter our wisdom years we have the chance to grow in new and exciting directions. It saddens me to see older women who have bought into the “I’m an old lady now” mentality and have already signed up for bingo at the senior center every Tuesday. I am so excited by all of the infinite possibilities out there to grow and learn. I am free to choose what new skills or interests to pursue and which tried and true approaches to life fit my needs better. I am free to grow in whatever direction works best for me.

There is a story in Judith’s book about some petunias that grew where they were never planted. Perhaps they just weren’t satisfied to be tucked away in a corner where they could not flourish but instead decided to toss their seeds into the wind to see what adventure lay ahead on the other side of the garden. Let’s all toss our seeds and see where they take root. Who’s with me?

And so it is.


Bullying and karma
Family & Relationships
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When I was in 5th and 6th grade, there were two girls who were best friends, but bad bullies.  They were both boyish in appearance and was just mean.

They were always fighting, and intimidating to practically everyone.  They gave a few girls a break, but I was not one of them.  For no reason, they would get up out of their seat, just to catch you bending by your desk to get out a book, at which time they would walk into you so you would lose your balance.  They did this as a practice, the teacher had to have seen them, but would do nothing.

This type of bullying went on for both years, 5 & 6 grades…in 7th, they disappeared, likely moved out of the area, so I thought.

One day I opened the paper to see a young girls colored up close picture, with the headlines, “Girl Getting Bullied”.  I gasped at what my eyes fell to next, it was her mother, standing beside her.  It was one of my bullies from 18 years earlier.  The Bully had grown up, had a daughter, that now was getting bullied by a girl gang.

It was so troubling to Mama Bully, that she called the Daily Newspaper to get them to do a human interest story, you know the type found in the hometown section.  It discussed how horrible this Mother felt because her daughter had gotten beat up physically and was harassed daily.

My bully looked the same, limp hair, no make up, almost as if she should have come out a boy, but became female instead.  Her daughter looked as rough at fourteen.  I felt like I should fist pump the air, and say “yeahhhh”, but what came was a sense of sadness and pity.

As an adult with my own children, I knew the facts surrounding children that bully.  I knew that she must have had a horribly difficult childhood, to want to go to school every day and fight to prove she was a tough girl.

I found myself wondering who she was fighting off in her own home, before and after school, to make such an angry mean girl child.  And then forgiveness came.  A part of me wanted to contact the staff writer, to inform them that likely they got scammed on this one.

But it was never important enough for me to do that, I wss sure someone else did. I believe her daughter was also a bully, that had met her match.  The article did state initially she was friends with this girl gang, that turned on her.

Wouldn’t that be just like a bully to be so enraged over the fact that she could not hit the juveniles for her daughter, so she wanted to inform an entire town how wronged her daughter was.

I don’t think my bully had learned any lesson from her daughters problem.  I think she was in a way, still trying to throw her weight around, but I still felt bad for her daughter.  I also knew what it was like to be on the outs with a group of girlfriends.

So that was karma, surely my bully never imagined her daughter would be like one of those helpless little schoolgirls she would terrorize as a child.  Karma

VN Editors
Practice Kegel exercises for women with a personal trainer
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Use a personal trainer to practice your Kegel exercises for women, and keep your pelvic floor in amazing shape. Don’t worry – it’s much simpler and more affordable than you might think.

If you’re going to exercise anything, isn’t it always better to use a personal trainer? Thankfully, in the high-tech age you don’t have to pay a person to help you exercise. You can simply download an app for your smartphone or tablet to work out whenever you like, and that goes for Kegel exercises as well.

You and Your Pelvic Floor

Kegel exercises or women target the pelvic floor muscle region. These muscles don’t just surround the vagina, they support the bladder as well. Kegels can actually increase natural lubrication to prevent female dryness, strengthen vaginal walls to prevent dyspareunia (painful sex) and keep the bladder muscles strong to prevent leakage. Practicing these exercises regularly can lead to better orgasms and even a better overall sex life.

Start Simple

Just a beginner? If you want to learn how to do Kegels properly and figure up a schedule to practice them regularly, try a simple app like KegelMate. It works with iPhones and other Apple devices. This straightforward app will help you get into practice, and get you in the habit of performing regular Kegel apps for women.

For Android devices, try the Kegel Trainer app. This will help you learn the motion associated with Kegels and build up your muscle strength.

Get Sophisticated

Once you’ve mastered Kegel exercises for women, and they’re pretty straightforward, you may want to personalize your workout a little more. If your smartphone isn’t private, you may appreciate myKegel. This app has several different features, not the least of which is a passcode lock that keeps the program restricted to just you.

Use KegelTunes, on Apple devices, to personalize your workout. This app allows you to set your playlist so you can listen to music while you exercise your pelvic floor. Try Kegel Aerobics or Routine Writer on Android devices.

Keep it Hidden

There’s only one real problem with apps that help you practice Kegel exercises for women: they’re right there on your device. If you’d rather keep your Kegel apps private, there’s an easy solution: get another app.

There are a number of apps that can be used to hide apps. Vault, Secret Apps and Hide Calculator all do this for Apple users. On Android devices, use apps like File Hide Expert and Apps Lock.

Whatever app you use, if you use one at all, practice Kegel exercises for women regularly. Make them a habit, a part of your routine, and keep your pelvic floor strong. You can always get a personal trainer in a free or paid app (some of them cost as little as $0.99) if you want a little extra help.

are writers born or made by education alone?
Books & Entertainment
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I am a Real Housewives of New York viewer and wanted to ask this question of those of you who are writers…I notice many of you have said you are writers…

This season on this show one of the cast members happens to be a writer and has taken great offense by another cast member who was not trained to be a writer but wrote a book based on a crisis she had as a child and how she managed her life thereafter…

Carol Radizwell (sp?)  Is bothered by Aviva Droeser’s question of whether Carol hired a ghost writer…the anger from Carol came as a result…but she also stated how many years she had been trained and had writtenbefore writing the book…


Aviva said writing did come easy to her…and did not have a ghost writer…Carol doubts it and seems to put out the vibe that unless you have had journalism traing and professional writing jobs…you cannot write without a ghost writer…


I of course side with Aviva…because I believe writers are born…the ability to tell a story is like having an eye for art or an ear for music…..I have read many books from non journalist type authors…and enjoyed them immensely…

But how do some of you feel about it?

Ellen Dolgen
A Singing Uterus Explains Perimenopause and Menopause
Healthy Living
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Thought you were done learning about your body at age 12? Well your uterus and your ovaries might disagree!

A Singing Uterus Explains Perimenopause and Menopause

Listen up ladies, perimenopause arrives unscheduled, uninvited, and often sooner than you think. There is no one- size-fits all age when perimenopause begins. Many woman start experiencing perimenopausal symptoms as young as 38, others may be 48. There is no right or wrong age, and you won’t receive a “save the date” to let you know when the festivities will begin. When you have been without a period for 12 consecutive months you are officially in menopause. The average age of menopause is 51. Many women find that they experience premature menopause, which means that your period has stopped for twelve consecutive months before the age of 40. Premature menopause may occur as a result of one’s genetic make-up, an illness, or medical procedures such as a hysterectomy.

Women pride themselves on being prepared. The sisterhood is so prepared and open when it comes to childbearing and child rearing. From pregnancy to college applications, my friends and family were always full of support. Most mothers of young children routinely walk around with a whole nursery in their diaper bags and enough hand sanitizer to sterilize an entire country. It is time to educate and prepare the sisterhood for perimenopause and menopause and help women take control of their fertility and biological clock!

Did you know that 95% of 30-year-old women have only 12% of their original number of ovarian follicular cells, which can develop into eggs? At 40, only 3% of the cells remain, according to research from the University of Edinburgh. Don’t panic! Research says that, before birth, females have roughly 600,000 cells. That means that even if you lose 88 % of them by the time you celebrate your 30th birthday, you can still celebrate having 72,000 cells left.

While it’s easiest for women to become pregnant before age 35, all egg-laying ovaries are not created equal, says David B. Smotrich, MD, a Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility. During your early 30s, your eggs can decline in quality and you might begin ovulating less frequently, even if you are having regular periods, Smotrich says. Reproductive potential decreases as women get older, and fertility can be expected to end 5 to 10 years before menopause. A 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant per cycle, but by the time she’s 40, her odds drop to 5% per cycle, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

If you are planning on starting your family in your 30’s or 40’s, Dr. Smotrich recommends having these four simple tests so you can be in control of your family planning:

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test: A blood test that measures your body’s levels of follicle-stimulating hormones, which control your menstrual cycle and your production of eggs.

25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Test: A blood test that determines if your body is deficient in calcidiol, your body’s main form of stored vitamin D. According to Dr. Smotrich, calcidiol levels generally decline with age, and deficiencies can predispose your baby to health complications.

Estradiol Test: A blood test that measures the amount of a hormone called estradiol in your blood. Estradiol is a form of estrogen that is largely made in and released from the ovaries, adrenal cortex, and the placenta, which forms during pregnancy to feed a developing baby.

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Test: A blood test that estimates the number of the eggs in the ovaries.

Now you know why I commissioned well known comedic writer and talent, Rachel Bloom, along with songwriter and producer, Jack Dolgen, to create this educational music video. It’s so important for our sisterhood to understand perimenopause and its effects on your fertility and biological clock, and of course my mission is always to prepare you for menopausal bliss.

A singing uterus…what’s not to love? Laugh, learn, sing and dance!

”This uterus knows her stuff!” Help spread the word!

Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

Who says you have to reinvent yourself?
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I’ve read a good bit over the past few years about women ‘reinventing’ themselves after fifty. I even bought into the idea. But as I’ve forged ahead, I’ve realized that my ‘reinvention’ is nothing more than a ‘refining’. Reinventing can imply that we were first faulty in some way and needed to be made over. I much prefer the notion of refining–of taking the best of who I am, the woman I’ve become, and letting go of the things that no longer serve my purpose or feed my passions in life.

As a writer of women’s fiction, I’ve read story after story about women who face obstacles to their becoming their best selves and must find the strength and courage to push past what stops them. I’ve even written these stories. And what I’ve learned from the characters in my stories is that they don’t one day just look in the mirror and say, “Well, that won’t do. Let’s build you again.” No. They look into the mirror and say, “Looking good. Where do we go from here and what do we need for the journey?” They carry their strengths and gifts and passions with them through the obstacle to the other side. They don’t let life define them, they let life and experience refine them, like gold that’s tested in the fire.

I refuse to reinvent myself as if something was wrong with the earlier version. I’ll happily explore what strengths I have that will support me as I pursue my passions in life.

If you like this idea and want to read about women refining themselves for this Third Act in life, start by checking out my blog and the story of author Lynn Romaine who, at nearly 70, sold everything and bought a little travel trailer to fulfill a lifelong dream.

When we embrace our best selves, we are unstoppable.

Linda Rettstatt

Writing for Women



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Several years ago we did a survey asking women that we knew, what we thought was a serious question, “when was the last time you felt hot?’’. (Hot as in sexy, not flashes.) Replies ranged between not recently, to never. NEVER? We were amazed.

Then we read an article about a writer who felt she didn’t have, ‘sexy making instincts’, she didn’t say it exactly that way, we are taking the liberties of summarizing. A photo of her revealed much of the problem. She looked like someone had knitted her, she was over the top home-spun. One of her colleagues suggested that she should put some effort into appearing like she hadn’t just stepped off a package of cookies,(like something the Keebler elves might have conjured up). The next photo was amazing; hair down, skirt appropriately short (just at the knee) and fitted, heeled shoes—she was definitely looking “hot”, and by her own admittance felt similarly. It was a choice she had historically made, to dummy down her full potential because she was more comfortable that way.

Here is our point. It is SOOO easy to get into the rut of not putting our full effort into looking great, and feeling great, which often go hand in hand. With warm weather approaching, (please God), we have many opportunities to take our appearance, hence our attitude, up a notch. Wear a nice skirt, (try Target) to replace those uniformish pants. Sport a stylish flattering shirt that has a little punch; maybe fitted, maybe with the opportunity to show a little cleavage. Shoes are designed to give you both comfort and style these days. Go for a slightly higher heel or do a color that rocks your ensemble. Current jewelry trends make it easy to get mileage from your accessories, just glom on everything in your jewelry box that matches, or not. A great scarf, a wonderful bag, all great weapons of mass construction.

Why are makeover shows so popular? Because it is as exciting to see others bloom as it is to see ourselves bloom. We hear the same words spoken over and over by those recycled souls; “I FEEL so good about myself”. That’s what it is all about!

In Elle magazine recently we read these wonderful words: “Some recent shifts in fashion transcend age. It’s not our job to tell a 64-year-old woman who looks fabulous in a pair of platforms that she can’t wear them because she’s too old. If you look great, you should be able to celebrate and wear the things you love.” Hallelujah!!

Go for it! When someone said “you reap what you sow”, do you think they really meant “sew”? We should have know that they were really talking about fashion.

Flower Bear
Growing Myself – Week 2: The Seed of Creativity
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Spiritual leader and writer T.D. Jakes once addressed one of Oprah’s Life Classes by telling them that each and every one of them was pregnant … they had something inside waiting to be born! I’ve always loved that analogy. Within each of us is the capacity to bring something forth into the world.

Last week we planted the red seed of  Self-Worth and Value in our inner garden. This week we are planting the orange seed of Creativity and New Birth.

Everyone, men as well as women, has something they want to “birth” into the world. It could be a profession, a trip, a home, a book, a painting, a garden. It could be finding a way to give clean, fresh drinking water to a third world village. It could be insuring that young girls have a chance at an education without fear of reprisal. It could be inventing an energy source that will save the planet from using up all of its fossil fuels. It could be as simple as learning to knit a sweater for that brand new grandchild or as huge as writing the Great American Novel. Whatever it is, we have the capacity to make it happen.

Step one is to plant the seed. Set the intention. Water and feed it regularly with positive affirmations, surround it with the warmth of friends and family that will cheer you on and support you, and be mindful of the clouds of uncertainty and doubt that will try and rob your seed of it’s potential. And for heavens sake, don’t ever, ever let your seed hear words like, “too old,” or, “not smart enough,” or, “don’t know how.” That’s like watering a plant with oil … it clogs up the pores so it can’t breathe. Smile at your seed every day and tell it, “We Can Do This! And out of that seed will sprout the most beautiful and precious plant that has ever pushed through the soil and reached for the sun.

And so it is.


Say “yes”
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The following was taken from a Cycling Daily Log – but can be adapted for anything you want to accomplish. Take it and change the noun to runner, writer, student, business owner, swimmer – pick one – and say “yes”.

“Could you use a lot more ‘yes’ in your life? Everyone could, really. Think about it. What would our country be like if all politicians said, ‘Yes, we can work this out?’ How many more of us could shed unwanted pounds by adding four more letters to ‘yes’ to say, ‘Yes, I can’? And how much more could we see and don on a bicycle (insert your exercise choice here) this year when we set our goals and tell ourselves, ‘Yes, I will’?

This past year, no one explained the chain reaction of progress sparked by the word yes better than Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, during his commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley:

“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country. Say yes to meeting new friends. Say yest to learning a new language, picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job. Yes is how you find your spouse and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference in your life, and likely in other’s lives as well…Yes is a tiny word that can do big things. Say it often.”

But here’s the thing – yes is hard. It requires setting a goal – a century ride, your first race, your first ride or a multi-day tour on your wedding anniversary. Yes demands action, commitment, and engagement. And, like it or not, yes can and will lead to failure more often than you want.

On the other hand, no is easy. You don’t have to change your life, much less get up off of the couch with no. There’s zero risk of failure with no. Of course, with no there’s also zero chance of success. Fortunately for you naysayers and second-guessers out there, saying yes often gets easier with time and preactice. Like riding a bike, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more your comfort level expands (100 miles in a day? No problem!) Eventually, you’ll reach that state where your experience and confidence create a new identity for yourself: bike racer, cross-country tour vet, committed bike commuter who sold her car, century rider, or simply, cyclist. Say “Yes” to that scenario.”